Friday, December 16, 2005
What Provisions of the Patriot Act are expiring?
We hear a lot of talk about aspects of the Patriot Act expiring, but what are they? Listed below are the sxteen provisions of the USA Patriot Act that expire December 31 if not renewed by Congress:
Section 201: Gives federal officials the authority to intercept wire, spoken and electronic communications relating to terrorism.
Section 202: Gives federal officials the authority to intercept wire, spoken and electronic communications relating to computer fraud and abuse offenses.
Subsection 203(b): Permits the sharing of grand jury information that involves foreign intelligence or counterintelligence with federal law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration, national defense or national security officials
Subsection 203(d): Gives foreign intelligence or counterintelligence officers the ability to share foreign intelligence information obtained as part of a criminal investigation with law enforcement.
Section 204: Makes clear that nothing in the law regarding pen registers -- an electronic device which records all numbers dialed from a particular phone line -- stops the government's ability to obtain foreign intelligence information.
Section 206: Allows federal officials to issue roving "John Doe" wiretaps for spy and anti-terrorism investigations.
Section 207: Increases the amount of time that federal officials may watch people they suspect are spies or terrorists.
Section 209: Permits the seizure of voicemail messages under a warrant.
Section 212: Permits Internet service providers and other electronic
communication and remote computing service providers to hand over records and e-mails to federal officials in emergency situations.
Section 214: Allows use of a pen register or trap and trace devices -- a device that records the originating phone numbers of all incoming calls on a particular phone line -- in international terrorism or spy investigations.
Section 215: Authorizes federal officials to obtain "tangible items" like business records, including those from libraries and bookstores, for foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations.
Section 217: Makes it lawful to intercept the wire or electronic communication of a computer hacker or intruder in certain circumstances.
Section 218: Allows federal officials to wiretap or watch suspects if foreign
intelligence gathering is a "significant purpose" for seeking a Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act order. The pre-Patriot Act standard said officials could ask for the surveillance only if it was "the" sole or main purpose.
Section 220: Provides for nationwide service of search warrants for electronic evidence.
Section 223: Amends the federal criminal code to provide for administrative discipline of federal officers or employees who violate prohibitions against unauthorized disclosures of information gathered under this act.
Section 225: Amends FISA to prohibit lawsuits against people or companies that provide information to federal officials for a terrorism investigation.